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Melissa Harris- Perry

News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.

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Us 38, Boston 28, America 19, Campbell 12, United States 7, U.s. 7, Garth 6, Martin Richard 5, Phillips 5, Bjorn 5, Valerie 4, Ted 4, The Home Depot 4, Fbi 4, Islam 4, Massachusetts 4, Melissa 4, Washington 4, Chechnya 4, Ari 3,
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  MSNBC    Melissa Harris- Perry    News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and  
   discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.  

    April 21, 2013
    7:00 - 9:00am PDT  

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are proven to be effective pain relievers. tylenol works by blocking pain signals to your brain. bayer advanced aspirin blocks pain at the site. try the power of bayer advanced aspirin. this morning, my question. do you feel safe now? and what happens when who you are makes you a suspect? plus, congress's epic fail in addressing what really terrorizes our cities. but first, the crisis is over. let the politics begin. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. this has been quite a week.
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monday's tragic bombings at the boston marathon finish line set off an extraordinary and unprecedented set of events that ended with a surprisingly subdued ending on friday night. 26-year-old tamerlan tsarnaev was pronounced dead after a dramatic shootout with law enforcement early friday morning. his 19-year-old dzhokhar escaped on foot precipitating a shelter in place order for the entire boston area. but the much sought after armed and dangerous teen was found wounded and incoherent in a boat parked in the backyard of a suburban watertown home. discovered not by the hundreds of armed officers who had been searching for him for hours but by the home's owner, reportedly out for a smoke. with one assailant dead and the other in police custody, the people of watertown and the entire boston area expressed their enormous gratitude and sense of relief with spontaneous cheers and applause on friday
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night. the crisis is over. now the politics begin and this is where our responsibility in the media shifts. in the heat of the crisis, media take on the job of informational clearinghouse, keeping the public up to date, sharing critical information and get the information out right and fast. granted, those are goals that can contradict at times. now we must step back from the incessant drumbeat of breaking news to the more deliberative effort of making meaning. no longer are we asking what is happening. now we ask what happened? now, that shift is subtle but it's important. what do we think happened in america this week? because what we think happen and what we say happened makes all the difference to what will happen next. okay, we know two brothers who were born outside the united states are believed to have detonated two bombs at the finish line of the boston marathon. they tried to evade police and we know they were captured. but we don't know why.
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because we don't know why, we've started to guess. those guesses are informed by our prior experience with things that seem to be like this thing. we ask, is this like 9/11? has our country just suffered a well-coordinated attack by foreign extremists targeting particular symbols of our national identity. then we ask is this like oklahoma city? have we witnessed a disaffected american citizen no matter how new his citizenship, violently protesting the overreach of the government? then we ask is this like columbine, a sociopath seducing a young man into -- who target a location most convenient, most proximate? should we be reading up on chechnya or about adolescent angst. should we blame radical islam or hip hop music? who is our enemy? while states of emergency are not good incubators for responsible reactions to these questions, there are plenty who are willing to offer answers
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nonetheless. take republican congressman peter king from new york who told politico, near days after the bombing, obviously the main international base, the terrorist threats are coming from, the muslim community. we're at war with islamic terrorism. it's coming from people within the muslim community, by the terrorists coming from that community just like the mafia comes from italian communities. king was one of four republican lawmakers that released a statement yesterday applauding the suspension of miranda rights for the teenage suspect. he even suggested we haven't gone far enough. and advocated for labeling the suspect an enemy combatant. by defining this week's events as terrorism, we endow the violence with political meaning. when we call their homemade bombs but not adam lanza's bush master xm 15 rifle weapons of mass destruction, we sent out a trajectory for the prosecution when we focus on months that one
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suspect spent overseas rather than the years that both spent in the u.s. we assume a limited geography for the incubation of evil. so here we go. the crisis is over and the politics begin. folks, this is actually the most dangerous part. with me at the table today is msnbc contributor and georgetown university professor, michael eric dyson. valerie core, a writer and fi filmmak filmmaker. co-host of the cycle and robert pape, director of the project security and -- >> bb, let me start with you. what do you think happened this week? >> what i think happened is we had homegrown terrorism come to the united states. since 9/11, this is the first time a homegrown terrorist bomb has gone off. naturally, that's come as a surprise. i think since 9/11, it's not quite a shock. 9/11 was the real shock. but it has come as a surprise. of course, it went on for days
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because it was an ordinary bombing, not a suicide attack, therefore, the perpetrators were able to move around and possibly carry out another attack. therefore, fear and concern grew last week. now we're in a period of relief. but melissa, i think you're absolutely right. the coming months are the most dangerous time. we saw this after 9/11. just after 9/11, only a tiny fraction of americans were really afraid of muslims. >> right. >> by 18 months later, 45% of all americans thought half of the 1.4 billion muslims around the world wanted to kill them. >> yep. >> no surprise. it was easy to go into eit. >> the decisions about how we talk about this event now have the i am plitations for civil liberties questions, potentially foreign policy questions. i want to listen for a second to
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president bush after 9/11 just as a reminder where we were as we talked about what happened in that moment. let's take a listen. >> on september 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. our war on terror begins without data. but it does not end there. it will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. [ applause ] >> so this set out the parameters,ary that we have been working under for the past decade or more. >> yeah. that was the global war on terror. there was a big gap between that rhetoric we just heard and the legal authority that the president actually had, which under the 2001 authorization of force was to only pursue al qaeda, the taliban and groups
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directly found responsible for 9/11. we'll continue to have that legal friction both on civil liberties and foreign policy questions. the first instinct to combat is that people are rightfully outraged at these killers. part of what they want to do is shut down the thought process and the constitutional system that we rely on because i see a lot of liberals saying, forget it, get rid of them. do whatever you got to do. >> yep. >> it's an understandable feeling because of the horror we saw this week. it can be understandable and be wrong. just as there was a gap in the foreign policy platform there, we're going to see gaps between the feelings and the rhetoric out there you alluded to some of what some republican and democratic members of congress have been talking about. that's a big gap from what our laws require. >> so i really appreciate how you put that. i do think -- it's absolutely reasonable to be afraid. particularly to be afraid over the course of this week in part because we as news media, we're
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giving you, this is happening and it felt very scary. my daughter normally travels with me on the weekends. there was no way i was letting her travel to new york when i didn't know what kind of terrorism we were experiencing. on the one hand it makes perfect sense to be afraid. on the other hand, we know that bad policy making happens in that context. >> yes. as a crisis in two different ways, i was north of boston when the explosions went off. i lived in the city of boston for three years. i was terrified, as were my friends and family held up in watertown on friday. i was breathing a sigh of relief as with all americans when the terror finally ended. but, like millions of muslim area and sikh americans, i have been waiting, praying, hoping that we won't see the fear and violence and hate that we have seen many times before. after oklahoma city and after september 11th, regardless of who the perpetrator was in those
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moments. a family friend, a sikh american who was murdered in the hundreds of hate crimes that erupted across 9/11, across america in the week of 9/11. the stakes are real and already we have heard of at least two accounts of retaliatory violent hate crimes, racial profiling of innocent bystanders. officials call for counterterrorism measures that would single out our very communities. when i take stock of this last week, the one thing that gives me hope is that we are not the nation we were in 2001. >> right. >> that president obama has come out asking our nation to stay true to unity and diversity, words we did not hear after 9/11. deval patrick, governor of massachusetts said if we're to heal as a nation, we need to turn to each other rather than on each other. inl going to hang on to that the next few months. >> nobody else had to have commercial this is week, but we
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earlier this week, my colleague, ari melber wrote this. "the federal response to the boston marathon bombings is debunking one of the persistent myths about counterterrorism policy. the idea that terrorism should not be confronted with the tools of law enforcement." there were plenty of other terrorism myths that came tumbling down this week. but we were so tied to analyzing this horror in such a limited framework that we may have missed those lessons. ari, as we're responding, talk to me about this public safety exemption. so the public safety exemption says that the public safety exemption is triggered with police officers have an
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objectively reasonable need to protect the police or public from immediate danger. is that what was happening in the context of choosing not to miles an hour an dies this young man? >> the short answer is we don't know yet. the public safety exception comes from a good place. the idea that some things are even more important than ultimately what happens at the trial of an accused defendant, right? one of those things is stopping the emergency. so the longest time that we've seen the public safety exception upheld is about 45 or 50 minutes. that's the kind of thing of the police saying, where is the gun, do you have any co-conspirators, trying to get that basic information? it has not traditionally been spanning for hours or days. what we're seeing here is a special question. this is an unusually complex long-range crime. so in my article in reuters today, walking through the analysis of the law here, one of the arguments that the obama justice department seems on the verge of making is we have
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crimes that went over several days. we have a suspect that as of this point, nbc news hasn't confirmed the medical condition and there may have been a long lag before he was interrogated. as long as the investigators and the justice department are meaningfully applying that exception and saying we really are trying to get that actionable information and it may have been delayed bied medical conditions. they will be on strong legal ground even if they go past 350 minutes and breaks precedent. this goes to what we were discussing previously. if that makes an excuse of making a mockery of it, we don't know yet. if it does, it's our job as citizens and the press to keep a close eye on that. a lot of what we saw under the prior administration, under george w. bush, was the argument that terror makes everything different, i.e., you have less rights. in rah suel and hamdi, we saw a relatively conservative supreme court ultimately tell president bush, no, you can't twist like
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that just because it's terrorism. >> michael, that seems like the danger in calling it terror, right? there was an immediate impulse, make sure president obama is calling it terror. lindsey graham sweet twooetieet telling him to remain silent. that would be the last thing. somehow terrorism makes it fine, right? >> we don't really know if this is terrorism. we don't know if there's political motivations. >> we don't know. we have to establish the definition of terror. everybody was terrorized. the political definition is something else. secondly, john ralston said imagine if you're the person subjected to the recriminations you want to put forth. be very careful if something happens in your family and your kid does something and your kid is on the terror list and the no-fly list, that's a different kettle of fish. it's unfamiliar evil versus familiar evil. when you made the point about
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we've incubated in our own culture a homegrown terrorist, that strikes terror at the heart of america. guess what? hey, ask the minority people, we're familiar with homegrown domestic terrorists. those ain't muslim, they're christian and twisting the cross and doing things. we have to be very careful about assuming that immediately this was an act of terror, what motivated them. we're filling in the blanks because we have a desire for knowledge. we have generated some of these same pathological behaviors that we see as extraordinary and exceptional and really they've grown out of the context. they're not foreigners, they're americans. >> bob, that's what i wanted to ask about. somehow we need to know about chechnya and the relationship between chechnya and russia. i was like, whoa, whoa, wait a minute, as far as we know, this person spent his entire childhood and adolescence here. >> exactly right. in fact, from other cases of homegrown terrorism, not just in
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the united states, but in britain and europe, we probably can say some things are likely to be discovered here. such as the chechen issue is not about the pro-movement in chechnya. it may not be in connection with a chechen terrorist organization. why do i say that? i say that for 15 years, the united states, if anything, has been on the side of the chechens. not on the side of the russians. if you look at the statements by the chechen rebel leaders, they have singled out targets for death, not americans. russians. >> that's right. >> if you look at the statement by the pro-chechen independence website, the main website, which is the one most linked to the chechen rebels, they have distanced themselves from the boston attacks because, if anything, why wouldn't they want us to be more pro-chechen. this is just cutting against their political interests. that said, what we have seen in other homegrown terrorist plots, such as in the london suicide
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bombings in july 2005 are individuals who basically have social bonds first. in that case, they were friends first, terrorists later. here, they appear to be brothers first, terrorists later. if you look more closely and look at the london bombers, we say oh, my gosh, they were long time good standing members of the local community. the ringleader took his class to the houses of parliament a year before. that's hardly the kind of image that -- but it closely matches what we've seen about the brothers. what we found in the london case is that there was deep anger at perceived injustices that muslims were facing around the world. not just from the areas the individuals were from and that perceived injustice seemed to spiral and spiral into political activism gone wrong. >> we may learn more from their
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biographies than their geography of origin. we'll talk about this two-sided coin of the surveillance state. do you feel safer knowing that the government is watching? rahhhhhh! when i'm hungry, my tummy growls. rrrrrrrrrrrr! when i'm hungry, i feel like i want to faint. this is my hungry monster. one in six americans struggle with hunger every single day. if i could stop hunger, i would definitely do it. [ male announcer ] let's growl back at hunger. during april, walmart and kellogg's are coming together to fight hunger by donating to feeding america. which contributes to food banks in your own community. support us in creating the biggest growl ever. [ kids growling excitedly ] ♪ when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost.. [ kids growling excitedly ] when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble
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infrared device to produce the thermal you see here. james bond like gadgetry. it confirmed that a person wa in fact in the boat. it's hard to see how the police could have found the suspect this quickly without the dwroo of this surveillance power. it's exactly that power, valerie, that gives me some pause. >> that's right. this entire debate, we must remember, is happening as we're living out the consequences of the counterterrorism measures that our government put into place after 9/11. right now the city of new york is debating whether their police department needs independent oversight after it was exposed that the largest state surveillance program of innocent muslims for more than a decade. this week, a nonpartisan commission released a report that unanimously concluded that the united states did in fact torture. >> yes. >> detainees after 9/11. as we speak, 63 detainees are on a hunger strike to protest the
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detention, the largest protest to date. this is really concerning. we can't have another post 9/11 decade. the fact that already representatives like steven king are asking to us rethink immigration reform, just as we were about to make headway, as if all immigrants are now automatically suspect or potentially terrorists is deeply troubling. >> i want to underline your statement. the torture didn't occur accidentally. it occurred as a result of policy so the torture report released this week tells us there's no evidence that there of ever before been the considered and detailed discussion that occurred after september 11th directly involving a president, his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality on detaining -- that comes to me, michael, like what we were saying is now that it's terror, we're going to be willing to do this. given how quickly we found the brothers, good, put a camera on every corner. let's submit to the surveillance.
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>> here's the point. how the guy was found was some old gumshoe stuff. i got out of my house, i wanted to take a smoke. >> saw some blood. >> i called the cops. that ain't nothing about surveillance. >> michael, you've always been pro gumshoe. >> or remove the gumshoe or stephen king or peter king. what's interesting is now the old-fashioned stuff that worked. i'm very, very skeptical as valerie has indicated, the police department, not only in terms of muslims, but in terms of how they said arrest more black people, hold them in abeyance and so on. we have to be skeptical about rushing to judgment. that this is the thing that will solve everything. what you said earlier, melissa, in the offing is suspension of civil liberties and rights which are the reason for us fighting the war on terror to begin with. >> i want to be careful. it was ultimately the guy smoking who sees the trail of blood and is brave and checks and sees the whole thing. on the other hand, he wouldn't have been in the boat except
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that the pictures were released. as soon as those pictures were released, it was the break. >> i think that goes -- what's the good part of surveillance? it's getting the bad guys without hurting other people. right? >> there you go. >> it is generally considered in law enforcement a more lightweight and less invasive way to do a manhunt. we're not knocking on your door. i would be the first to remind you that we did have a lockdown. if we are going to focus in on the policy question, it usually doesn't involve a lockdown. the cia talks about the mosaic theory of intelligence, little bits of meaningless and innocuous information, you put enough of them together and you get this mosaic, this picture that can help you solve crimes or hand -- >> asking for people's iphones pictures initially. >> that's the crowd sourcing. that's less of a concern from the civil liberties perspective, we submit up and hopefully it's used the right way. this week was a good example of that. the problem is when this becomes government only. if the government, through its
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reach or subpoena powers or patriot overreach can basically turn and deputize lord and taylor and you're in my iphone and sweep and vacuum it up, that's more concerning because we know in countries that have overwhelming surveillance, there tends to be abuse. >> we actually saw that happen this week, right? >> there's more than just simply the legal issues here, melissa. there's a security reason why we have to be concerned about oversurveillance. the key issue here in the short term, surveillance gives us a picture of a perpetrator. in the long-term, it allows racial profiling. what happens is the public almost automatically begins to look at that picture and then think, oh, anybody who looks like that person is somehow a suspect. there's millions who might fit that bill. let me go further, what did the terrorist organizations do with this? this is a source of the perceived injustice against muslims that terrorist leaders
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use to whip up anger against americans to come back, blow back to us. the core issue is isn't simply that it's morally wrong to profile or that it's legally wrong. there's a security reason why we have to be very -- >> we're going to take a quick break and stay on this issue of surveillance but also the fact that the state is watching people, the people are watching the state. it's interesting. when we come back. on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission. [ coyote howls ] how about no more surprises? now you can get all the online trading tools you need without any surprise fees. ♪ it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
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is right for me. you should try our coverage checker. it helps you see if you have too much coverage or not enough, making it easier to get what you need. [ beeping ] these are great! [ beeping ] how are you, um, how are you doing? i'm going to keep looking over here. probably a good idea. ken: what's a good idea? nothing. with coverage checker, it's easy to find your perfect policy. visit progressive.com today. this week we marveled at the speed of evidence produced by cameras watching the public. at the same time, the public was listening on what authorities were doing with that evidence. fuelled by social media, tens of thousands of ordinary citizens listened live to boston police scanner. trying to make sense of the fragmented bits of information. mostly, they made a mess. amateur sleuths misidentified potential suspects, drew false conclusions and broadcasted
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information that was better left private. all this reverse surveillance led the boston police to dpee manned via tweeter, do not compromise officer safety. by broad katzing tactical positions of homes being served. the state is watching us and we're watching the state and does any of that make us any safer? >> i don't think it does. look, we need moran di griffith, not barney fife and barney is messing up. andy we're down here and you're messing it up. it's good to have the dem okay rahization of information is critical in hands that deploy it with care and regard and regard for other citizens. my individual right to know has to be counter balanced against what we have to put out there as we pursue people who were deemed as extremely dangerous and terrorists. i think that in that sense, we want to hold the state accountable, that's for sure, but the misuse of information that is flooding the airwaves, the digital arena is potentially harmful because it reinforces
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the very stereotypes you're speaking about. >> when the brown student missing, sunil tripathi was identified by twitter, basically. so this is a student who is missing, whose parents are in agony still don't know where he is and he's identified as a potential terrorist. >> the biggest danger with overreaction is from the media. your quote from the boston police shows that the authorities are more educated than they were after 9/11. with the fbi to give you an example, i've given many talks to the fbi and given talks the next day to c.a.r.e., that's the main public islamic group in the united states. that's striking is how the head of the fbi and the local region talks to the head of care in the local region and i often joke. i say well, you must know what i'm about to say because they eavesdropped on you. they joke about this among them selves. when you talk to the heads of the fbi, they understand that working with the muslim community is the best way to
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ensure the security of americans and it's really quite interesting how the media is much, much more sort of pendulum swinging, whereas folks who, again, inside the authorities who are responsible, they seem to be educated. >> we don't want to creed it all to the authorities. we saw in new media which often makes reasonable complaints about mainstream media. they were doing the same sort of rushing to get the information. so who do you trust in this story? pete williams who is doing what? calling people on the phone and talking to sources. again, back to your gumshoe way. >> we are the twitter generation. we are not satisfied just watching events unfold. we are participating in those events. that means that many of us are participating in those events in bad ways. we are profiling innocent bystanders, we're profiling based on the color of their skin, using social media to
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spread hate and suspicion. eric rush tweeted after the bombing, muslims are evil, let's kill them all. it's been used in this way. but many more people i have seen have found community and unity and expressed a commitment to diversity online. >> i want to take one step back and say, look, the crowd sourcing of this operation was very successful. the big risk when you surface pictures, you will have vigilanteism. we don't underestimate that. largely around the country, they were very responsible on that. on the big things, not the rumors online, but on the big things, i would say a big success here. the old saying online is information wants to be free. people never remember the end of that quote which is actually "but it also wants to be valuable." and spreading things without confirming them obviously is much less valuable. your signal to noise ratio fades. i would make a strong distinction between what's a
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relatively small, maybe influential but small group much people that are really big on power users on a couple social media platforms versus the people in boston, the people who called who did the gumshoeing, that helped to make it successful. >> it's still a net gain even if we have a sense of anxiety about that surveillance or even about our surveillance of the surveillance. maybe it's in part this notion with the new tk nolg come new social norms. bob, thank you so much for joining us today. i really appreciate it. >> we have much more coming up. you should also know that we have some of robert pape's insights up on our online source mhp show.com. go and learn more about bob pape's insights there. also up next, collective sigh of relief. how boston and the nation are recovering after one incredible week. [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness? by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful?
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the crisis is far from over for the victims of the boston bombing and the aftermath for the families of 8-year-old martin richard, 23-year-old linz i lieu and sean collier and krystle campbell. the dozens of injured spectators. the long and agonizing process of healing has just begun. the city and country are beginning to recover. the cheering crowds at yesterday's red sox games were a visceral symbol that boston was back. in fact, boston didn't stay down long after the initial bombings. before the events of the week's end, many in boston, across the country had returned to business as usual with a defiant resilience in the face of violence whose source at that point was still unknown. but then on thursday, the terror returned. the late-night shootout and unprecedented lockdown of an area.
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the mill tarization of streets. it ripped the scab off the fresh wound. if we weren't terrified before, suddenly we were. the spontaneous cheers of residents upon the capture of the suspect showed the almost giddy relief that it was all over so soon. but even as we cheer in relief, it's worth remembering that we are a nation that has responded to collective terror by compromising our own civil liberties, by pursuing preemptive violence and by assuming that entire groups of fellow citizens are potential enemies who must be monitored, by leaves me wondering, is there another way to recover from terror. joining us researcher and lecturer on history. he's a commentator on muslim american issues. is there a better way for us to respond than the ways we have in the past? >> i think one of the things that struck me as this whole thing unfolded is -- of course, many muslims around the country, before the identities of the
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suspects were known said please don't let them be muslim. i remember growing up, we said please don't be black, right? it's like because you don't have as a community, the kind of privilege to declare individuality, to say this is a plural community, this is diversity and we're all not the same. as a result, muslim victims tend to be invisible. you had a case that at the boston marathon where a young 20-year-old saudi was running like everybody else from the bombing and he was tackled because he was suspected as being one of the bombers. so being muslim in america post 9/11 is being both being a victim of terror and also being afraid of being a suspect of terror. it's very difficult for muslims when we see these kinds of events happen. we want to join in the celebrations too, right? there are only two rose that
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they offer muslims, either you're apologizinapologizing, t us or you're waving a flag. i think that isn't the only thing. the muslim tradition in america, certainly the african-american muslim, tradition in america is rooted in part in the tradition of protest, right? >> so i'm so glad that you made that point about sort of being simultaneously victimized and then defined as the victimizer. i know your work after the oak creek shooting of a sikh temple, one which many thought was a case of american ignorance, about the sikh religion versus islam. gets right at that core. what can can we learn about how to recover? >> let's remember that the oak creek mass shooting was actually the last incident of domestic terrorism in this country. it was committed by a white supremist who walked into a sikh house of worship. we did not hear calls for white people to be profiled, we did
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not hear christianity denigrated or christians living in fear the way that our country diagnoses a problem when it's a white perpetrator, it's an individual problem. when it's a person of color, suddenly an entire community is deemed dangerous. that said, i want to speak to this issue of how we've recovered. the kind of love and outpouring that we experienced sikh and muslim and south asian americans across the country from all kinds of americans of all backgrounds, was so overwhelming. it was an experience where our fellow americans were not looking at us as foreigners or suspects, where they were seeing us as neighbors, as colleagues as friends, as patriots. that is the kind of hope, that's the kind of vision of unity that i'm hanging on to in the days to come. that's our higher self. >> it is a higher self. this is why to me, martin luther king, jr. is the greatest american who ever lived. he forgave evil in advance. therefore, depriving it of its
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consequence on me. i'm knot going to allow you the prerogative to define my response to you. i'm going to settle that score in advance so that the injuries i endure and the bloodshed that is occurring is redem tiff not because we're sickened pathological but because we -- this is what it means to be black in america as well as many other religious minorities. the evil stuff, the bad stuff we do is seen as representative. the great stuff we do is seen as exceptional. the exceptional people can never be representative of the group and the evil people are the only representatives or the people who do bad things are the only representatives. white americans don't -- if tom cruise goes down, you got brad pitt. denzel goes down, we got -- we don't have that authority to say to america this is not what defines us. part of the privilege of whiteness is not to understand the person who does something wrong, you don't have to go on television.
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black people apologize for, apologize, even the president has to apologize for black people. >> i want to go the arguments you made. i had this opportunity to sit down with diane nash, one of the founding members of an organization, an absolute philosopher of nonviolence. >> she's amazing. >> it was useful to me in the context of this week and everything going on, because of the argument you just made that the response to violence is the thing that defines who we are, that it's not -- it is not being victimized by the violence, but how we respond and so this is our moment as a nation to figure out who we are, how we respond to these. >> that's such a great point. think about it. if african-american people specifically, black people had responded with vicious, violent rhetoric or assaulted the dominant culture, we would have had a chaos there. what we did was not only good morally, it preserved the fabric of the nation. the nation should remember that. when it seeks revenge against
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these other victims. that nonviolence is not only a method of approach, it preserves the sieving -- upon which we ground our rights. diane nash is right and the martin luther king, jr., ella baker, that we preserve the soul of the nation to give in to -- so that the greater aspect of our culture can be amplified. that's what king did. >> stop right there. we're going to talk more on this issue, particularly as we look at how other countries have responded. ases plus a 50% annual bonus. and everyone wants... ♪ 50% more doo wop ♪ 50% more buckarooooooooos ♪ 50% more yeeeaaahhhh!!!! ♪ 50% more yeah yeah [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card gives you 1% cash back on every purchase, plus a 50% annual bonus on the cash you earn. it's the card for people who like more cash. ♪ 50% more boogie ♪ what's in your wallet? cashhhhh!!!
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in 2011 anders breivik carried out a bombing in oslo, norway, killing 77 people. most of them young people at a summer camp. in response, the norwegian justice system sentenced him to 21 years in prison. you heard me right. 21 years in a three-room cell with a tv, exercise equipment, ikea-style furniture. though it's possible for his
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sentence to be extended if he's deemed to longer be a threat, he could be released. even though he killed 77 people. the philosophy in norm way may seem incomprehensible to us in the u.s. they have no death penalty and the norwegian people in a system called restorative justice, it emphasizes healing for the victims, society and the criminal as well. the result? according to 2010 data from the united nations office on drugs and crime, the homicide rate per 100,000 people in the united states was 4.8. in norway, it was .6. less than one in 100,000. ari, i don't mean we ought to go to their system. but it does beg the question, is there a different way to think about crime and punishment and is this a moment for us to start doing it? >> i think this is not the moment. partly because this crime is not
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representative. if you look at the breakdown of the modern justice system in america, what we know is that african-americans for the same crime are likely to get six times as much time in prison. we know that we have a deal basically that usually prevents, jury trial that says go to the jury, get your day in court, the vast majority of domestic criminal cases are done by plea, that means your defendant never gets that trial or that day in court can. that is where i think and where i've written the big reforms are needed. this is a fairly unusual situation. this is much closer to what we did in nuremberg. we said here are these people who have done the worst things imaginable, killing children, genocide, declaring some kind of war on the united states, even if it's not a legalized -- or that the suspect was linked to the taliban or al qaeda, which is what would be legally required to go into that.
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they're right to go into the domestic criminal system. now legally he'll be up for capital crimes, terrorism, use of wmds, explosive device, killing of an officer. the justice department will have authority to pursue the death penalty at a federal level. separate from massachusetts if they want to. >> it's hard to imagine that we wouldn't, right? >> right. >> given our sense ofter tore, given the kind of attack it was, given there was a child killed, the maiming injuries. on the other hand, that revenge that we seek doesn't seem to make us a safer country. >> it doesn't make us safer and we don't want to think about it as ee veng. that's the point. rarely do i talk about nazis on television, it is difficult to do. but it's relevant because you'll hear every time like this comes up, does he even deserve a trial, does he deserve fifth amendment rights or miranda rights. these are all a bundle of the
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same question that we've fought so many times. when we answered in the affirmative in the worst crimes against humanity, we answer that's what makes us different. that goes to process. as to penalty, we have to wait. we have to see if that penalty is meeted out within the justice system. the fact that we want this person dead is not the point in how our constitutional system works. we may want it, but we have to step back and wait ford the justice system to work. >> that's the difference between revenge and justice. revenge is to satisfy our blood lust to get somebody caught where justice says render unto this person who is coming to him or her. melissa's impulse is right. even if the application is to the wrong part of the law, all those black men who are going to jail for nonviolent drug offenses and overpopulating the prisons have as equal a claim to the protection of a society that has demonized them as others in the exceptional case of terror. >> when we come back, we'll
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continue to ask this question about how do we recover. we're going to talk about how do you recover as part of the community considered the terrorist community. i want to say thank you to valerie for joining us. more on this issue when we're back. carfirmation.
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. before we knew anything about the suspects in the bombing, some made links between terrorism and immigration. it started with the american tendency to conflate acts of terrorism with the dangerous, foreign, brown others who live among us. among the worst media offenders this week were the new york post who misreported that a saudi national was taken into custody as a suspect and of course, the now famous image of or infamous of two perfectly innocent spectators who were splashed across the front page as potential suspects. then there was john king of cnn who cited multiple sources on wednesday reporting the suspect was dark-skinned.
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we know now this description is entirely inaccurate. the media helped in this racializing in boston. they got help from the elected officials. here's republican congressman louis goe mert of texas on wednesday. >> we know al qaeda has camps with the drug cartels on the other side of the mexican border, people are being trained to come in and act hispanic when they're radical islamists. >> chuck grassley from iowa had this to say on immigration reform on friday. >> given the events of this week, it's important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system. while we don't yet know the immigration status of people who terrorized the communities in massachusetts when we find out it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system. >> actually, senator, maybe the weakness is in trying to tie terrorism to immigration. at the table, msnbc contributor
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and georgetown university professor, michael dyson and ari melber. >> former south carolina gop chair katon dawson and za here ali. gang of 8 in the midst of all this, gang of 8 puts out the immigration report. marco rubio does a kind of here's the talking points from it. border control, border control is the fundamental thing that we hear coming out of what is meant to be an immigration change, something new. yet, the language is still primarily this language about border control. >> i think it goes back to the republican primary for president. rick perry probably had it right. 1400 miles of border from el paso to brownsville in texas that needs help and has continued to need help. whether it's the drug cartels or however the politicians want to definet certainly, i think what's brought to the forefront is where there are pitfalls in
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the laws now and is the american public willing to pay for border security. that came down in our primary, truly what sunk us in certain communities because we seemed heart less and cold as republicans to other communities. with that being said, i guess they're going to have to have -- trying to have a thoughtful discussion over an emotional topic that this happened this week but mind you, it will come next week, eric, as you know. it will be the topic of discussion especially in republican circles. >> it feels insidious to make this link. things that happen this week sometimes got framed in this way. for here, these are the two individuals who are the suspects right now, one is dead, one in custody. are literally caucasian. literally from the caucuses. >> exactly. >> we're here on the kind of status one is an american citizen, the kind of status that wouldn't be impacted by immigration reform. >> part of the immigration debate is rooted in how america
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sees itself as a white nation. you look at the language used as part of redeeming and protecting whiteness. even now they're talking about him as an ethic chechen. a racial othering that white people do to exclude people they don't included in terms of their group. dark-skinned male. i think one of the things we have to do is revisit the hunting for the dark-skinned male that took place last week and it's part of the rationization of muslims but also part of a longer history of racialization of crime and terror in the united states. last week, ken burns' documentary the central park 5 aired on pbs. it was a perfect example of how it's entangled to great destructive effect. part of this has to do with how -- they were called dark-skinned. if they're dark-skinned, i'm jet black. part of why we imagined the threat to be dark-skinned, the threat to be foreign is because we want to think of or some
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people want to think of and continue to think of america as a white nation. >> the language heard from the elected official, people are being trained to come over and behave like hispanics, pass as this kind. but it's still this idea that immigrants constitute not the very thing that is america but a threat. >> i just -- we've had such a serious day, i i was wondering if i could quote lil wayne for a second. i have michael next to me. he can revoke my authority. you can revoke my authority. >> i grant you authority. go ahead, sir. >> women lie, men lie, numbers don't lie. this is that kind of conversation. the numbers are available and the reason why senator grassley, whatever he meant to say, the reason why what he said was built on a fallacy is that we have the data nationally. u.s. born individuals are not twice as likely, not three times as likely, five times more likely to be imprisoned for crime per capita basis.
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in california, ten times more likely because there is such a question about all the undocumented individuals in california. so we know that people who come to this country by an overwhelming degree, i got to emphasize it, not by a little bit, but an overwhelming scale are not doing major crimes. it is felonies and violent crime that put you in prison. felonies, violent crime and drugs. we know that. we know that is not what's happening. we all want to make sure that the right people get in, if we mean not terrorists and we have an immigration system to do that. >> these are young boys who come over with a family from the caucuses. there are places in the world where chechen rs racialized in the way that african-americans are. boston ain't one of them. you've got one generation of immigrants trying to block
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another generation of immigrants coming. think about the wave in the jews, italians, polls and the like, they couldn't by the litmus test invoked now have become american citizens. . the litmus tuss. it -- an italian ethnic slur, it meant without papers. the very people who invoke this litmus test as authenticity as american, their grandparents couldn't pass it. that's part of the problem. when you demon eyes -- your point about being caucasian an, it's beyond the pale literally to conceive that we could incubate within whiteness a terror so deep it would destroy whiteness. that's a critical point. the nation and whiteness have become indivisible. you got to fracture whites. whites from the south versus whites from the north. whiteness itself is a race.
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it's not often asked to think of itself as a racial formation. these things force it to be so. >> it's also important that we don't conflate immigrant with muslim. these 40% of muslims in america are african-american. the using of islam as a kind much shorthand for foreign or immigrant as a shorthand for muslim is completely. >> latinos got the same argument saying we're here. you're calling us immigrants, weave been here generations. >> on the politics of it, to extent that there's angst about the immigration discourse, it was around the latino vote, right? it was the idea that our immigration discourse will be problematic, picking up particularly western states. the thing that is i am grant becomes bigger and potentially the problem for the republican party becomes bigger. >> it's certainly a challenge to get the right immigration in the mix. much like at gun control issue we're sitting with right now.
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these are challenge for how it's going to define itself. president obama won, we lost in the last election. >> sometimes i think he feels he didn't given that you have to have 60 senators to get anything passed. >> well, that is what it is. but he did lay the -- >> he's quoting lil wayne too. >> i'm not a lil wayne fan yet. >> he did and i applaud him and he called them terrorists. he just called them terrorists. that's what they were. i want to remember martin richard. that's the little boy who is dead. that's the sadness here. the greatness of america is, we're having this discussion today on a very sad week in america of a treacherous thing and the number of soft targets out there in america will continue to be there.
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whether it's illegal immigration, shame on them using boston as an ex us to get anything done. >> i want us to remember martin richard, both the people who died in the blast and the m.i.t. officer who was killed on the night of the shootout. but the thing is, i guess what i want to be careful about is our assumption that these children are so fundamental, particularly a 19-year-old, different than martin richard. they grew up in the same community. it's easy for us -- they're fundamentally different in that martin richard is holding a sign saying no more hurting people and these are people who maimed and murdered. they very well -- we may find out that the neighborhoods and communities that they grew up in are not so drastically different. that strikes me as something very different than the border control issue. more on this when we come back. i do want to talk about a fear of a different kind when it comes to the wake of terror. for. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day.
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he put a shame, he put a shame on the tsarnaev family. he put a shame on the entire chechen ethnicity. because everyone now names, they play with word chechen. so they put that shame on the entire ethnicity. >> that was the uncle of the suspects, on friday before the 19-year-old suspect was captured. his anger and embarrassment for his family and community are palpable. and make no mistake, there's a fear that you hear in his voice. fear that there will be an implied suggestion that other chechen americans will commit terrorist acts. if you think he is wrong, ask how they were treated after 9/11. or better yet ask a young doctor of palestinian descent in massachusetts. on wednesday, she claims a man punched her in the left shoulder
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and screamed -- you muslims. it occurred in the presence of her infant daughter. i can remember how i felt when we found out the d.c. snipers were african-american. that sense that somehow there is a collective shaming that becomes part of it. part of the immigrant narrative in the u.s. has been this we come and we build and we love the country. perhaps even more than domestically born americans. >> right. >> i could just, i could feel and hear that from the uncle. >> i understand, i understand what he was saying. because he sees how things happen in this country. how whole groups of people get blamed for the acts of individuals, especially when you're in a minority community. interesting about this particular case, of course, because i don't hear peter king wanted to conduct surveillance of chechen communities. islam becomes the one drop. we have a one drop rule.
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if you have that one drop, you're now a suspect. this is how you became a dark-haired person, dark-skinned person because you had that one drop. so there is -- i'm looking interestingly to see if there will be an attempt to redeem or make separation. it's the older brother who was the islamist who dragged the younger brother, the assimilated american, the older brother was swath iier looking one and the younger one called the light-skinned one on the police scanners. i'm interested to see how we will do this. even with this distancing that has to take place, where people feel they're put in a position to say i'm a good muslim, not the bad one. isn't muslim that's the common thing here. it's people who are alienated, people -- their whole families were not even in touch with them. they hadn't talked to their families in years or months. their parents weren't here. they were basically raising themselves. there were a lot of factors. >> we don't really know. the younger brother, we get all
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tweets from his friends. he seems pretty is simulated. it's still an open question. it worries me with open questions, we're beginning to talk about it as a policy matter. >> that's the important point here. because they don't have the privilege of being anonymous. speaking of people of color or other minorities, we don't know yet but we fill in the blanks. we fill in the blanks with the profilers, stereotypes, what makes us feel most comfortable that this is an exceptional extraordinary case that happened because they are this. you take one part of the element that he's muslim. he might listen to classical music, lis toned lil wayne. listened to a lecturer. >> i keep wondering, is it possible that there would be a discussion of this is because of ben affleck and the connection between boston and movies about violence? and of course, the answer is no. no one will think that this is about those things. but at the same time, there's something -- i appreciate the way that you framed that as the
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one drop. because given that they're chechen and literally caucasian, our very sense of connection to them is this framed up notion of like islam making them into something that is non -- >> it is not us. the point is, it's important to say that's not us. you know, this is not american, this is not who we are because we couldn't potentially do when what they did. if they're more like us, the point you were making earlier, if they're like us, grew up in the same neighborhoods, listen to the same kind of music, it's scarier. what has met more fa-sized to become who they are. what evil lurks among us. we want to demon eyes the other. we have to distance -- >> we did this on columbine, right? as much as we talk about race and ethnicity, the other thing we did in the columbine case, we decided it would be goth kids or presented as alienated. the vs. majority of adolescents commit -- hand in fist.
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>> that point goes to the violation of the social contract. that's what violent crime is. it's a fundamental violation. so we have seen generally throughout history, long before this incident, two reactions. one is to perform an otherization of the criminal. that makes us feel more safe psychologically, that this could be cordoned off. there's another thng we do, we don't do it with terrorism. but we otherize the victim. we talk about how the victim dressed or how the victim acted. i believe it also comes from a place of trying to think about why or our family members would never end up the victim. that is very scary. >> there was a great piece on that. >> the amish did not do this. in 2006 when there was an act of what we have to understand is terrorism and violence against
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the a.m. i cmish people, the sh in the school, there wasn't an othering. even though the person was not amish who did it, it was a sense of our inherent vulnerability. there's a political question here i want to ask you, katon, that's tough. part of what -- we're going to talk about guns in a bit. part of what we're talking about when we're talking about anti-terrorism or about immigration and crime or about the guns question is an inherent human vulnerability. it's possible that these kids, nothing is claimed by their identity or any of those things. if we're going to live in a free society where you run 26 miles outside, we're vulnerable. >> we are vulnerable. we're in a society now that once you start taking those freedoms away, you'll watch everybody start raising hell. you start taking everything we enjoy as americans and get ans lar, you're going to have an
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outrage on freedoms and liberties. used to be they blamed it on drugs. they're on drugs and been on drugs. these are just mean guys. that's what they are. at the end of the day, they were mean, dee ranged chicken killers who went out there -- >> they're murderers. >> they're murderers. the only thing about gun control is that the young man is still alive, better be glad he wasn't in louisiana. he would have got a shot in -- >> that wouldn't have been good for the investigation. >> but that's what would have happened. >> the family who owns the boat where he hid are also immigrants. i also want to point out that they too are an immigrant family as we know the history of boston as you pointed out, it is a city of people immigrants from all over the world. >> as were some of the doctors who treated -- >> thank you to zaheer ali for joining us. katon has more to say about guns. can't be just the one thing.
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[ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ . this week when two young men allegedly committed a calculated act of mass violence that resulted in the loss of american lives, we didn't know right away what caused them to do it. many decided almost immediately what to call it. we called it terrorism. we used the term terrorism to describe events like monday's boston marathon bombings. we're not just categorizing an act. it's a catalyst to provoke the state into action. because we called them terror suspects, two men brought the country's tenth largest metropolitan area to a complete standstill. because their actions met our benchmark for terrorism, the state responded with no fewer than 20 different law enforcement agencies and more than 1,000 officers. because a suspected terrorist
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was arrested in a suburban backyard friday night, the full force of the federal government will be deployed to bring him to justice. and only days after the attack the act that we called terrorism has already gown influence debate over policy in the u.s. congress. but this is the very same week when we watched the final round of the political tug of war that began with another callus and calculated act of mass violence committed by a young man in newtown, connecticut, just four months ago. only the events of that day fell short of the mark for what we call terrorism. and the state's response in this case could most accurately be described as inaction. after a senate vote that could have reformed gun policy, instead left us pretty much exactly where we started. it was enough to provoke our ordinarily calm and measured president to lose his cool. >> everybody talked about how we
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were going to change something to make sure this didn't happen. again, i'm assuming our expressions of grief and our commitment to do something different to prevent these things from happening are not empty words. >> up next, more on why the word that had the most meaning for gun policy this week was no. lfu? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer,
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one thing that hasn't changed: the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪ . it came down to politics. the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections. they worry that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-second amendment. obviously a lot of republicans had that fear but democrats had that fear too. >> that was president obama on wednesday pulling no punches when assigning blame for the failure of a senate amendment requiring background checks for the 40% of commercial firearms
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sales that slip through that loophole, 40%? the bipartisan proposal received 54 yes votes from 48 democrats, four republicans and two independents. but it was the minority of 46 no votes that ultimately prevailed because the amendment fell short of the 60 votes it needed to advance. michael eric dyson, ari melber, katon dawson and dan gross president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. dan, how mad are you about it this week? >> every bit as angry as the president is and the american people are. you have a situation where 90% of the american public supported this measure. the majority of gun owners. that doesn't happen any anything, no less legislation and gun policy. we were bow trade by the government, betrayed by the people we elected to represent us. every one of the people who voted no, the constituents of
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theirs backed this. that was reflected in president president's tone, that's the disconnect we need to close to create change on this issue. >> explain that to me. that's the part that perhaps more than any other thing makes me desperately nervous here. it's one thing if we're having a debate about a policy and it doesn't pass. okay. we seem to not be having a debate about this policy. >> you got it. >> we have absolute uniformity of opinion, 92%. many americans thinking it's already the law. what is the disconnect in our democracy that allows this? >> it's not even the will. let's remember, it's the safety of the american public. i mean, we can demonstrate how this will save lives. right now n now on arms list.com, there's 73,000 guns available for sale. 94% of them are under this geist of private sales so they don't require background checks. every day it goes on, lives hang in the balance. it really is just that. it's not any deeper. there's a pure disconnect between what the american public
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wants. there are things to take heart in and inspiration from. several months ago, there would have been a filibuster on this. but these guys knew when the newtown families visited, when americans started calling their congress people, they knew that they were being watched and they knew they at least had to have the conversation. there was a bipartisan agreement with two a-rated nra senators. six voted in favor of this. the original brady bill pertaining to 60% of gun sales, it took five or six times, five or six efforts to get that through the legislature. let's not it quell our outrage. >> i want to echo one thing. there is progress here. because we didn't get over the line. it doesn't feel like progress, people are upset that we have had this murder of children and a common sense basic widely supported program is not being implemented. the most basic thing you could do to literally prevent the next shooting of innocents of children. larry summers said the thing
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about washington, the line between the impossible and the inevitable is very thin. when i worked on the hill, i saw that. campaign finance reform from feingold and mccain was never supposed to pass. lobbyists laughed at it. then something happened. enron and it passed. here we need sadly, we need more ground action in response to what's happened. >> it's such a good example. in part because now we live in a citizens united world and you shrug your shoulders. katon, i got to say, what happened in boston this week was not gun violence, right but the vast majority of violence, the thing that actually keeps people in nair homes day in and day out, keeps children from playing is gun violence. and this isn't hard. this was background checks. we're not talking the magazines. we're talking background checks. i don't want to do the screaming cable news thing. but i got to feel there's blood on the hands of every person who
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voted against this. >> it goes back to policies. there are pro-second amendment states that have good organizations that you're aware of that put a lot of pressure on elected officials and politicians that have a conspiracy theory about guns. it did make sense and it did -- >> conspiracy theory? >> taken from your house. that's what you hear in town hall meetings. i've been there. they raise their hands. it's an honest question they ask. they usually give a good answer. that's the fear put into them. whether it's justified or not. when you look -- >> 92% support -- i hear you. >> i got it. 92% of them. but then once the rhetoric starts, the fear and the misrepresentation comes also. the amendment made perfect sense. >> this fear that politicians have if i side with the american people or my conscience against the gun lobby of the nra, i'll be kicked out of lobby. that's been disproved empirically. you have no refuge except for
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mythology because they're gutless. >> and the politicians don't care about the 90%. they care about what's the percent of people that are single issue voters coming after me on this. >> right. right this matters. on the one hand we talk about the valance, the direction, so that everybody is in the same direction. the fact is that the few who don't are the vocal, the organized, they're the well-financed. but look, there's a moment when you have to -- again, we're talking background checks, katon. how is the republican party over time going to be able to stand and say oh, yeah this makes sense? >> the republicans weren't by themselves. >> no, no. >> we had a little cover this time. the anti-gun lobby failed. an the pro-gun lobby won. but it was bigger than that. you're giving a lot of credit to the nra and their money. i do. i think there was a lot more working in the hinder lands than one organization and their money. >> i knew that would --
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>> i have to clear up a misperception here when you talk about anti-gun lobby versus the pro gun lobby. there is no anti-gun lobby. there's a lobby trying to prevent gun violence. >> i understand that. >> time and time again, this is not about taking anybody's guns away. that's why 90% of the american public supports it. how vocal that support is, is an important issue. there's a lot of misperception there as well. we did a poll just prior to this that shows that more than 50% of the american public is willing to hold their elected officials accountable on this. they're more likely to vote for an elected official supporting background checks. only 9% of the american public said they weren't. there's a mythology in washington, d.c. that we have to break. >> we usually disagree. i have to agree with katon. there's a bunch of democrats on the wrong side of this issue. i grew up in a house with a gun, sounds like you have guns around. this is not about whether you can have a gun around. >> that's exactly right. >> confiscation has never been
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on the table. we're talking about whether we're going to find any political impact out of this. that's the next question. not whether people go home and complain. look, harry reid, i'm sorry, he may have worked with you guys recently and i'd love to hear about the efforts. he's a long time nra person, a lot of democrats who are. the last nra bill was giving immunity to the gun manufacturers so nobody could take them to court when people are murdered. >> what if we called it terrorism. we spent the whole show thus far talking about terrorism in the context of boston, right? we don't know what this is, but because of that, there are all kinds of things we're willing overnight to move into action. this is what is terrorism. this is what is terrifying. >> the point you're making is we're more affected and impacted by this slow terrorism, let's call it that. >> more people dead. more children dying. >> it's more concentrated. it's much more effective, and pervasive, because it is the bay nalt of evil. it's accepted.
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i have a gun, you have to say, not you individually, but you have to say i have a gun. look at how sick we are. there are societies that don't have guns that are safe. we have guns we're unsafe. we're unwilling to dislodge those two things and unwilling to say in america it's the second amendment, not the second commandment. this is not god speaking on high. people who use guns destroyed us and the gutless politicians are to be shamed. like the chechen uncle said this is a shame on us. >> up next. >> i grew up in a house with guns for the record, player. >> katon is exactly right. there are in fact democrats who were on the wrong side of in. in fact, i want to have a little conversation about one of them as soon as we get back. asional have constipation,
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senator heidi heitkamp is one of them. she joined other republicans and spineless democrats to the only paltry piece of legislative action this congress eeked out in the wake of deadly gun violence in our cities and schools. while the senator has a responsibility to represent her constituents, she also has a responsibility to lead. given that she has nearly five years before reelection, she could have taken a stand and then made a case to her district about the value of background checks. instead of standing with the families of newtown and aurora and chicago, she stood with the nra. in a week when so many sacrificed so much to keep americans safe. it is embarrassing that the senator was willing to risk so little for the same purpose. dan, i mean, look, i have my disagreements with marry landrieu, but she got on board on background checks. i have my disagreement with kay hagan but she got on board in
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terms of background checks. they're facing reelection much sooner. >> that may be why they got on board. they know the reality of this issue. we flooded calls into mary landrieu's office. we organized in louisiana and we demonstrated to her that her constituents were behind her. we demonstrated kind of this mythology around being held accountable for acting against the whims of the gun lobby. we demonstrated that we're going to hold these elected officials accountable for acting against the will and the well-being of the american public. >> when the club for growth and a lot of conservative groups have a problem like this, we know right away who is going to pay. we know who is the target. it your group or your allies looking at any individuals, should people watching know who you perceive to be the political targets? >> i'm glad you asked that question. what people can do right now to make this outrage, melissa, that you feel, that reflects the outrage on the american public
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is text my voice to 877877. we'll do one better of the we'll connect you with the office of one of those senators who voted no so we can make the voice of the american public heard. >> holding accountability, there is a very inspiring kind of coalition that's forming around this issue. you have a lot of old players like the brady campaign that is going to train our sights on holding these people accountable. you have mayor bloomberg, you have gabby giffords and mark kelly and their organization, the president. absolutely. >> not yet. but we will. >> but it feels to me like -- katon, your point was as we were talking about boston, the only thing i want to remember is the names of the victims. that's what i want to remember. the newtown families were in the building. pendleton's mother has been -- if we're going to remember the victims. let me make the same point about gun violence. isn't about your second amendment rights and you'll have
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them and background checks will not keep you from having those rights. i'm less interested than in these names, these victims. >> i understand. >> do you agree? >> well, i do. this was a complex argument where there's a lot of pain and pressure. >> it's not -- >> completely political. in an election cycle coming up, these are politicians on both sides of the aisle that know the second amendment rights is important and got confused. the one thing, it's coming back. this will not be the last conversation we have about this legislation. i mean, there was not enough momentum to get it over the edge. the majority leader, the leader of the senate folded his hand on it. now there will be pressure to bear. going after a lot of politicians -- >> can i ask this question? >> they're pretty tough guys. >> if it's been proved you don't suffer the negative consequences as bad as people say, what are the politics involved when, look, i can side with the right here, the right side, not the right politically and do the good thing and as melissa said,
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i got wiggle room, and talk about what i had to do and give them a wink. why not that compromise? why they're so rigid, why? >> i can't answer that for every individual politician who did what they did. i can just tell you that the end of the day -- >> this is politics. >> at the end of the day i think this procedure will go on. you made the point, ari did as well. this will not be the last time -- >> i can answer that question. >> okay. >> this entrenched mythology that it's unsafe to do the right thing on this issue. the only way it will change is if the american public demonstrates we're willing to hold them accountable. i want to make a quick point, melissa, on victims and the families that went to washington, d.c. yeah, there was incredible poignancy around that and effectiveness. i mean that's the reason why there wasn't a filibuster vote. because the spotlight that the victims, the newtown families were able to shine on this. what this moment represents is an opportunity to cross that chasm from this being about
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sympathy for others, of being about victims to being about the outrage of the american public at our congress that is actually doing the wrong thing on this issue. >> i'm glad you brought us this. ari, are we being naive? as we talk about this as a policy issue and issue of reelection, is this just about the fact that p barack obama did in fact win reelection and the one place where he could be stopped and stopped and stopped is in the u.s. house of representatives, is in the u.s. senate where they simply can say, we're not going to stand with the president. because, what we heard about senator heitkamp as troubling it is, if it had been the 60th vote, she would have cast it. whether that's true or now. because we weren't going to get to 60, and that's the new baseline about governing, it's just about stopping the
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president dead in his tracks. >> when safety is a cost -- i do think it's true for both parties, being the 58th vote on something difficult doesn't make a lot of sense. people say that's why a lot of times you're like eight votes short or ten votes over and call it log rolling. that is a part of the -- >> mary landrieu did it. >> dan makes a point that he's leaning into the notion that she did it precise lis because there's an election soon. >> they had cover. >> the others had cover. what i want to hear and the question which was not rhetorical, maybe it's not this week, maybe it's next week, maybe next month, who is going to lose their seat over this? i work for maria cannot well who was perceived at one point to have lost in '94 partly over the wave and partly over her courageous vote for the assault weapons ban in an outer area of washington state where a lot of people think that was too far. she made that vote, lost the seat. some people say she lost it for other reasons.
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that mythology had a huge impact. politics, sometimes we make it really complicated. it's pretty simple. if you're at home, think about your job and that list of things that you know could endanger your job, things you might say at work, things you might do. those are things you avoid. this is an do. those are things you avoid. the first thing that the gun safety groups have to do is figure out who's going to lose their job for the other reason. >> right. because that's always the key. democratic accountability only works if people are held accountable. so the only way is to kick the rascals out. and the work that brady has just been doing in the context of this environment that just refuses to budge is astonishing. but i think you're right. the people have got to move in order to make accountable. >> but you raise something about the obama thing that has to be talked about. >> yes. my folks are like do not let michael speak! there is not enough time!
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u ush. maybe you heard that a mississippi resident was arrested for sending ricin laced letters to the president and a republican senator. perhaps you heard about the explosion in a fertilizer plant that killed 14 people. but it was genuinely difficult to get news on anything other than boston this week. and here are a few of the things that happened while our attention was riveted on the manhunt. pulitzer prizes were being announced just moments before the first bomb exploded. the prize for reporting on national affairs was awarded to lisa song, elizabeth mcgowan and david hassameyer for their exceptional reporting of our
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nation's failed oil pipelines. a judge granted reprieve to mississippi's only abortion clinic by blocking a new state law from taking effect while litigation continues. so, women in mississippi can still exercise their constitutional right to reproductive choice a little bit longer. on thursday, the house of representatives voted 288-127 in favor of the controversial cyber intelligence sharing and protection act. the act will allow internet companies to share personal information more freely with the government without needing to obtain a warrant. the bill now moves to the senate. on friday, the boy scouts of america unveiled a plan to allow gay youth members. the compromise plan still bars gay adults from scout leadership positions, ensuring that gay scouts can expect equal treatment, but only until they turn 18. on saturday, a massive earthquake rocked china's
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southwestern sixuan province leaving over 100 people dead. these reflect the struggles and triumphs that we face every day. as the nation comes together in the wake of the boston marathon bombings, remember that even the stories that don't make the headlines should make us aware of just how connected we really are. and that's our show for today. thanks to you at home for watching. i'm going to see you next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. right now it's time for a preview of weekend with alex witt. >> video surfacing today. charges could come along at any minute now. we'll be watching that. but when will officials get to start asking questions? new information and video as one of them as a high school wrestler surfaces. the world's biggest marathon still under way at this home. you'll not believe the number of security cameras in great britain. in texas for the first time,
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some residents are getting back to their homes and scenes of remarkable devastation. don't go anywhere, everyone, i'll be right back. how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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